The NEWS (Monrovia)

4 January 2013

Liberia: Government Creates 22,665 Jobs in 2012

Amid public outcry, the Liberian government through the Labor Ministry says it provided 22,665 jobs in 2012.

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in her 2011 campaign speech, promised to provide 20, 000 jobs annually but the reality of her commitment was not made known until December 31, 2012.

Appearing on the Truth Breakfast Show Monday, Assistant Labor Minister Richard Ngafuan disclosed that 22,665 jobs were provided by what he referred to as the "service sector."

He said Golden Veroleum, a palm oil production entity in the southeastern region of Liberia employed 2,456 persons while China Union provided jobs for 590 persons.

Assistant Minister Ngafuan said the Ministry was collating the data to release the final report of jobs that were provided in 2012.

He said the Ministry of Labor determined the number of jobs provided in 2012 by sending questionnaires to various institutions.

Also speaking during the talk show, Information Minister, Lewis Brown clarified that the President's 20,000 annual jobs promised does not mean government jobs.

He said government cannot employ everybody but would rather create the environment that would attract investors which would lead to job creation for the people.

Minister Brown said with the expansion of activities of various concession companies operating in the country, more jobs would be created for Liberians.

During the talk show, many callers disagreed that over 22,000 jobs were created in 2012. They claimed that government did not create 1,000 jobs.

The callers described the pronouncement about more than 22,000 jobs as a big political bluff, while others said it was a mirage.

The callers argued that one does not need to be a rocket scientist to know that more than 22,000 jobs were not created considering the number of jobless people in the country.

However, Assistant Minister Ngafuan challenged the callers to produce statistical evidence to disprove government's 22,665 jobs creation.

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